Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating backs Mitt Romney

Frank Keating, as Oklahoma Governor, 1-11-01 AP

Frank Keating, in 2001
AP

Former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating is among more than a dozen prominent Republicans from his state who on Tuesday will announce their support for Mitt Romney, CBS and National Journal have learned.

The announcement comes days after Romney made a campaign stop in Oklahoma, which he called "the reddest state in the country." In 2008, the GOP presidential nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain, beat President Obama in every county in the state.

Keating has had a high-profile career: He famously resigned from a commission investigating sexual abuse in the Catholic church after refusing to apologize for likening U.S. bishops to the Mafia for covering up the scandal. In 2000, he was on then-presidential candidate George W. Bush's vice-presidential short list, and in 2008, he served as a frequent television surrogate for McCain.

Romney also got endorsements from Oklahoma State Treasurer Ken Miller and State Auditor Gary Jones. They were both at his speech in Oklahoma City last Friday, and are influential in the state.

Announcing his support of Romney, former Governor Keating said: "Mitt Romney is the candidate who has a solid plan to get Americans working again, and a track record to go with it. He spent 25 years in the private sector turning around failing businesses and creating jobs. While Governor, he balanced the budget every year without raising taxes and left in place a $2 billion rainy day fund. I am proud to support Mitt Romney for president."

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